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Main TV Cable Supply to my House... Distribution Questions


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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 Brian Mansure

Brian Mansure

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Posted April 15 2003 - 08:30 AM

Hey all,
it's been a long while since posting on this part of the forum but I'm sure I have the right place for help.

The main tv cable supply used to run directly from the utility pole into my attic where it was split off for 2 televisions.(fairly common)
Since then, I've had a cable modem installed and now the main drop is split once outside of my house and then again in the attic.
The outside splitter has one output going directly through the wall to my cable modem and the other output is going up to my attic where it is split to the same 2 televisions as before.

My questions are:

Would it be a better cable run if I eleminate the outside splitter (which is an uncovered 2-way TVC brand) and once again have the main drop going directly into the attic to be distributed 3-ways or more from there?

I'm assuming the less splitters there are, the less potential for signal loss/noise especially if the splitter would be inside not subjected to outside weather and such.

Also, if I would need to re-run the cable, should I continue to use the Comcast provided splitters or should I spend some money on 2ghz splitters?

I appreciate any assistance with this.

Thanks,
Brian

BAM

#2 of 12 Bryan X

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Posted April 16 2003 - 04:09 AM

I don't think you want to eliminate that first split that goes off to the cable modem. From what I've been told it's very important that your cable modem get the strongest signal possible. Eliminating that first split and including the cable modem split in a three-way would degrade the signal reaching your modem, affecting your connection. The cable modem is much more sensitive to signal strength than a television is.

Time Warner split my cable like yours. I've got one line coming into the basement. From there it's slpit in two, one going to the cable modem. The other line goes to another splitter which splits the signal to four televisions.

#3 of 12 Bob McElfresh

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Posted April 16 2003 - 04:44 AM

With respect to Bryan, the cable modem signals are DIGITAL which means they can suffer a LOT more signal loss than an analog signal.

But as you noticed, many splitters were designed for CATV analog frequencies so they were never intended to handle the higher-speed digital signals in mind. Thats why many installers tap off outside your house for a cable modem: they dont trust what you have installed inside. (There is also the impedence-match issue which causes reflections - another topic).

I understand you want:

- to put the splitter inside/protected from the weather
- minimize the number of splits/breaks in the cable

But in this case: if it aint broke, dont fix it!

What you CAN do is this:
  • Crawl up in the attic and un-screw all the ends in the coax. Examine the F-connector to see if it is loose. Examine the copper center wire to see if it is dull-brown/oxidized. Cut and replace the F-connector if anything looks less than great. Important: Reattach the wires hand-tight, then finish with a wrench to make it snug. The number one cause of poor CATV service is loose connectors.
  • Go to each of your Televisions and repeat the inspection/replacement/tightening steps at the television end, and any other connectors you may have in-line.
  • Radio Shack sells some CATV coax wrap for outdoor weatherproofing. Get some of that and on a dry day, use some of it on the outside splitter to help protect the connectors from bad weather. Thats all you should have to do.
You should repeat the inspection/tightening every 2 years or so.

Big Hint: Buy the F connectors with the built-in crimp body. Some even have a rubber "O" ring to help make the coax-connector union inside air-tight. These are fine. A local electronics store (not just a Radio Shack) usually has these.

#4 of 12 Brian Mansure

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Posted April 17 2003 - 02:44 AM

Thanks for the replies Bryan and Bob.

I'll be checking both ends of the coax connections in the house and somehow enclose the outside splitter in a weather resistant box.

Bob,
The longest cable run in my house is still RG-59 and terminated very poorly at the splitter in the attic, I will be replacing it with RG-6 provided by Comcast but ASFA the crimper and terminals which do you suggest as the best value? I really won't be running cable all that much so a $100 crimper/stripper seems expensive but then again, if it's the right tools for the job maybe I should just go ahead and get em.

Thanks,
Brian

BAM

#5 of 12 Bob McElfresh

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Posted April 17 2003 - 04:47 AM

No, unless you are a tool-freek like I am, you dont need to buy expensive things for your home cables.

You can get $12 coax strippers and $20 hex-crimp tools at Radio Shack that work just fine. Radio Shack also sells a nice "T" handle for pushing connectors onto the coax $6.

If you dont mind mail order, you can spend a bit more to get from www.partsexpress.com

360-680 Crimp Frame Handle (ratching crimper) : $17.50
360-690 Hex Crimp Die for handle: $8.50
360-089 F connector tool: $5.20
360-016 Rotary Cable Stripper: $9.95

Total: $41.15

Parts Express also has several different types of "F" connectors, including the ones with the attached crimp ring.

But not every RG6 coax has the same dimensions. When Comcast comes out ask for:

- Make & Model of coax they use
- A handful of extra "F" connectors

Likely they equip all their installers with connectors designed to fit the coax they install. This makes things a lot easier.

Strong Suggestion: Go get 3 ft of RG6 coax and a handfull of RG6 connectors. Practice cutting, stripping, crimping connectors onto the coax. Try pulling the connector off the Coax to get a feel for the right amount of crimp. Do this 4-6 times to get the feel for it before you touch your home coax. It's like painting: the first wall you do has lots of mistakes, the last wall is a lot better.

Good Luck.

#6 of 12 Brian Mansure

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Posted April 17 2003 - 05:38 AM

Alright then... sounds like I have my saturday plans. Posted Image

Thanks again Bob.

BAM

#7 of 12 Bryan X

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Posted April 18 2003 - 04:14 AM

You might be able to have your cable company install a box on the outside of your house to cover the outside splitter.

My cable internet connection was acting up last week and Time Warner came out and determined that there was a problem somewhere along the cable up to my house which is buried in my back yard.

They buried another cable from the pole to my house and when they did that, they attached to the house a grey plastic box (about 7"x7") to protect the outside connections. There was no charge either :-)

#8 of 12 Brian Mansure

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Posted April 18 2003 - 04:43 AM

Thanks for the info Bryan.
BAM

#9 of 12 Garrett Adams

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Posted April 18 2003 - 12:15 PM

Quote:
But not every RG6 coax has the same dimensions. When Comcast comes out ask for:
- Make & Model of coax they use
- A handful of extra "F" connectors

Last year when AT&T (now Comcast dropped a new feed line and inside cables using the SNS type F connectors. They are great 2-piece compression connectors, not your usual crimp type a la Radio Shack. Afterword's I went on the web to buy the connectors and tool for my own use. The cost stopped me. :b

#10 of 12 Bob McElfresh

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Posted April 19 2003 - 04:21 AM

They usually use the military-looking compression connectors for outside use, and have others for inside use.

I thought I saw a generic crimp-tool at PartsExpress that said it could handle the "Snap-N-Seal" brand of compression connnectors for about $35. You can also check ebay as sometimes the nice tools are there.

Note: A fellow member said he has had great luck with twist-on connectors for indoor use. This saves needing the expensive crimp tools. My guess is he made sure to get connectors that mated well with his coax. (Dont use connectors intended for RG6 on a RG59 coax.)

#11 of 12 JustinGrimball

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Posted April 19 2003 - 12:02 PM

I bought an cable amplifier for my cable connection and hooked it up in behind the tv.

cable from wall to amp then to tv.

It made the reception on my 47" TV look twice as good.
-Grimball-
Check out the Cineplex

#12 of 12 Brian Mansure

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Posted April 21 2003 - 01:10 AM

I was on eBay the other day and saw a few Paladin brand name stripper, crimpper, terminal kits typically going for 50 bucks.

Unless I can find a friend that has the tools, I'll probably try to win an auction off eBay for one of the Paladin kits.

Brian

BAM